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ceterach officinarum - L.

Common Name Scale Fern
Family Polypodiaceae
USDA hardiness 7-10
Known Hazards Although we have found no reports of toxicity for this species, a number of ferns contain carcinogens so some caution is advisable[200]. Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems. The enzyme is destroyed by heat or thorough drying, so cooking the plant will remove the thiaminase[172].
Habitats Limestone rocks and mortared walls[17].
Range Central and southern Europe, including Britain, east to the Himalayas and Caucasus.
Edibility Rating    (0 of 5)
Other Uses    (0 of 5)
Weed Potential No
Medicinal Rating    (2 of 5)
Care (info)
Frost Hardy Moist Soil Full shade Semi-shade Full sun
ceterach officinarum Scale Fern


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ceterach officinarum Scale Fern
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Summary


Physical Characteristics

 icon of manicon of fern
ceterach officinarum is a FERN growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in).
See above for USDA hardiness. It is hardy to UK zone 8. The seeds ripen from April to October.
Suitable for: light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and prefers well-drained soil. Suitable pH: basic (mildly alkaline) soils and can grow in very alkaline soils.
It can grow in full shade (deep woodland) semi-shade (light woodland) or no shade. It prefers moist soil.

UK Hardiness Map US Hardiness Map

Synonyms

Ceterach officinarum. DC.

Habitats

Edible Uses

None known

References   More on Edible Uses

Medicinal Uses

Plants For A Future can not take any responsibility for any adverse effects from the use of plants. Always seek advice from a professional before using a plant medicinally.


The whole plant is antitussive and diuretic[7]. It is widely used in the Mediterranean to treat gravel in the urine and is also used with other mucilaginous plants to treat bronchial complaints[7]. The taste is very bitter and needs to be sweetened with other herbs such as liquorice[7]. The plant is harvested from late spring to summer and can be dried for later use[7]. Some caution should be employed in its use since it has not been fully tested[7].

References   More on Medicinal Uses

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Other Uses

None known

Special Uses

References   More on Other Uses

Cultivation details

A calcicole plant, it requires a freely draining but moist alkaline soil[1]. It tolerates full sun but prefers a position with at least part-day shade[200] and also grows in deep shade[219]. Plants can be grown in old brick walls[219]. A very ornamental plant[1]. Members of this genus are rarely if ever troubled by browsing deer[233].

References   Carbon Farming Information and Carbon Sequestration Information

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Propagation

Spores - best sown as soon as they are ripe on the surface of a humus-rich sterilized soil. Keep the compost moist, preferably by putting a plastic bag over the pot. Germinates in spring[1]. Spring sown spores germinate in 1 - 3 months at 15°c[134]. Pot on small clumps of plantlets as soon as they are large enough to handle and grow them on in light shade in a cold frame or greenhouse. Keep them humid until they are well established. When they are at least 15cm tall, plant them out into their permanent positions in late spring or early summer.

Other Names

If available other names are mentioned here

Found In

Countries where the plant has been found are listed here if the information is available

Weed Potential

Right plant wrong place. We are currently updating this section. Please note that a plant may be invasive in one area but may not in your area so it’s worth checking.

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List of Threatened Plants Status :

Related Plants
Latin NameCommon NameHabitHeightHardinessGrowthSoilShadeMoistureEdibleMedicinalOther
Asplenium ceterachScale FernFern0.2 7-10  LMFSNM02 

Growth: S = slow M = medium F = fast. Soil: L = light (sandy) M = medium H = heavy (clay). pH: A = acid N = neutral B = basic (alkaline). Shade: F = full shade S = semi-shade N = no shade. Moisture: D = dry M = Moist We = wet Wa = water.

 

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Author

L.

Botanical References

17200

Links / References

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